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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Manufacturing Slows

Manufacturing industries expanded in October at the slowest pace in nine months as a slowdown in economic growth cut back production and new orders.

Moscow Narodny Bank's seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers Index was at 51.2 last month, dropping from 51.8 in September to the lowest since January, the bank said Tuesday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

October Oil Output

Russian oil output is likely to have risen by 70,000 barrels per day or 0.7 percent in October from September to reach a new post-Soviet high of 9.6 million bpd, an Industry and Energy Ministry source said in an interview Tuesday.

The source said output stood at 39.301 million tons, or 9.6 million bpd, in the first 30 days of October.

The final data for October will be released on Wednesday, and if preliminary figures are confirmed they would mean a fifth straight month of steady production growth after eight months of stagnation. (Reuters)

Russia Cuts Oil Export Tax

Russia may reduce its export duty on crude oil to $179.60 per metric ton ($24.50 per barrel) as of Dec. 1, 30 cents per ton lower than the current rate, Interfax reported, citing Alexander Sakovich, a deputy head of the Finance Ministry's customs department.

Russia reviews its oil export duty every two months to take into account changes in international prices. (Bloomberg)

Shell's Sakhalin Output

A Royal Dutch Shell Group-led venture expects to pump more than the 12 million tons of crude (240,000 barrels per day) initially planned for this year from the Sakhalin-2 field in the Far East.

Sakhalin Energy Investment, which is tapping oil and gas fields in the Pacific Ocean, already produced 10 million tons of crude this year and the extraction season lasts until the start of December, Viktor Snegir, Sakhalin Energy's acting chief representative, said Tuesday in Moscow. (Bloomberg)

First Nigerian Oil Search

State oil firm Zarubezhneft has recently struck Russia's first oil deal with OPEC-member Nigeria to explore two offshore blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, the Industry and Energy Ministry said on Tuesday.

"We want to help encourage cooperation between Russian firms and countries in equatorial Africa, especially with the regional leader Nigeria," the ministry quoted Federal Energy Agency head Sergei Oganesyan as saying in a statement. (Reuters)

Eastern Siberia Investment

LONDON -- Russia may need to invest at least $10 billion exploring fields in eastern Siberia to ensure gas supplies to domestic clients and to Asian states.

The country's companies will need to drill wells with a total depth of 3.5 million meters by 2030 to find the 6.7 trillion cubic meters of gas it needs, Vladimir Sayenko, the head of the Industry and Energy Ministry's policy department, said Tuesday. Russia plans to build several gas processing units in eastern Siberia to use some of the fuel to make chemicals after 2015, Sayenko said. (Bloomberg)

Novatek Dividend

Natural gas producer Novatek said it will pay a nine-month dividend of 1.14 billion rubles ($40 million).

The dividend will amount to 3.77 rubles per Global Depository Receipt and 377 rubles per common share, the company said Tuesday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

Magnitogorsk in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, Russia's second-biggest steelmaker, and 11 other companies bid in the second round of the auction for as much as 74 percent of Pakistan Steel Mills.

Pakistan's Privatization Commission, the government's asset-sale agency, plans to auction the Pakistan Steel stake by December, a statement by the Islamabad-based agency Tuesday said. (Bloomberg)

MTS Turkmen Buyout

Mobile phone company Mobile TeleSystems has bought the 49 percent of Turkmenistan's largest cellular operator it did not already own, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing Mobile TeleSystems documents.

Mobile TeleSystems paid $18.5 million to the founders of U.S.-registered Barash Communications Technologies to raise its stake in the company to 100 percent, the news service said. (Bloomberg)

Sistema Buys in Tyumen

Sistema's subsidiary Comstar UTS, a fixed-line telecommunications provider, has bought a stake in Tyumenneftegazsvyaz fixed-line telecoms company for $7.8 million, Sistema announced late Monday.

"The regions serviced by Tyumenneftegazsvyaz are oil-producing areas, characterized by one of the highest incomes per capita after Moscow and St. Petersburg," Comstar CEO Semyon Rabovsky said in a statement.

Comstar UTS bought 89.4 percent of common shares and 31.9 percent of preference shares in Tyumenneftegazsvyaz, which services the Tyumen region and the autonomous Khanty-Mansiisk and Yamalo-Nenets districts. (MT)

Russian Unit for Moody's

Moody's Investors Service, the first of three global credit rating companies to give Russia investment-grade status after its 1998 default, has opened a Moscow unit to benefit from surging demand for credit assessments recognized worldwide.

"Russian and CIS market participants are increasingly turning to the global capital markets to serve their financing needs," Michael Foley, senior managing director of Moody's Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement Tuesday. (Bloomberg)

Plane Ticket Prices

Domestic airlines and international carriers flying to Russia on Tuesday introduced a standard rate for converting ticket prices into rubles from foreign currencies, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing carrier Aeroflot.The move follows a ruling by the International Air Transport Association.

The new rate, which is being applied to the ruble, is calculated on the basis of a combined Central Bank rate for the dollar and euro divided by two, plus 5 percent and rounded up to the nearest 50 kopeks. (MT)

Siberian Coal Output Up

Coal producer Siberian Coal Energy produced 57.5 million tons of the fuel in the first nine months of the year, 6.5 percent more than in the same period of 2004.

Exports totaled 14.8 million tons in the period, the closely held company said on its web site Tuesday, without giving comparative figures. Most of the exports came from coal mined in Kuzbass and Buryatia. (Bloomberg)